BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU junior pitcher Alex Lange and senior shortstop Kramer Robertson were named Wednesday to the 2017 Golden Spikes Award Watch List.
USA Baseball unveiled its 55-player preseason watch list, beginning the process of identifying the top amateur baseball player in the country for the 2017 season. The 40th Golden Spikes Award will be presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation on June 29 in Los Angeles.
Lange, a first-team All-American as a freshman in 2015, started 17 games last season as a sophomore, posting an 8-4 mark and a 3.79 ERA in 111.2 innings with 49 walks and 125 strikeouts while limiting opponents to a .226 batting average. He finished No. 2 in the SEC in innings pitched and No. 4 in the league in strikeouts.
Lange, who was 12-0 in his freshman year, enters this season with a 20-4 career mark at LSU. He has worked 225.2 innings in 34 starts through two seasons, posting a 2.87 ERA and 256 strikeouts. Lange is also a member of the 2016 SEC Academic Honor Roll as a marketing major.
Robertson earned second-team All-America and first-team All-SEC honors at shortstop in 2016, batting .324 (84-for-259) with 20 doubles, two triples, two homers, 39 RBI, 61 runs and 14 stolen bases. He was LSU’s leading hitter in SEC regular-season games, batting .363 (45-for-124) with nine doubles, one triple, one homer, 19 RBI, 26 runs and six steals.
Robertson finished No. 3 in the SEC in doubles, No. 3 in runs scored No. 8 in base hits. He was named to the watch list for the 2016 Brooks Wallace Award Watch List, which is presented each season to the nation’s best shortstop.
Robertson was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 MLB Draft, but he elected to return to LSU for his senior season.
USA Baseball has partnered with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation to host the Golden Spikes Award since 2013. The Foundation was formed to honor legendary USC and USA Baseball Olympic team coach, Rod Dedeaux, and supports youth baseball and softball programs in underserved communities throughout Southern California.
The preseason watch list features 55 of the nation’s top amateur players, from high school and college baseball. The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will maintain a rolling list of players, allowing athletes to play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the season.
Sixteen different collegiate athletic conferences are represented on the 2017 preseason watch list. The Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference lead the way with 13 representatives each, while the Pac-12 Conference has seven. Florida, Stanford and TCU lead all schools in representation with three players each. Florida State, Houston, LSU, North Carolina, Oregon State, South Carolina, UNC Wilmington, Vanderbilt and Virginia all had a pair of athletes identified on the watch list.
Starting on March 27 and ending April 2, fans will be able to nominate their favorite players for the Golden Spikes Award prior to the reveal of Midseason Watch List on April 12. The semifinalists list will be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that follow the amateur game closely, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the 39 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters.
Fan voting will continue to be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2017, starting on May 31 with the naming of the Golden Spikes Award semifinalists. Amateur baseball fans across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalists at GoldenSpikesAward.com. On June 14, USA Baseball will announce the finalists and voting will begin that day and last until June 23.
The winner of the 40th Golden Spikes Award will be named on Thursday, June 29, at a presentation in Los Angeles. The finalists and their families will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Award Dinner that evening at Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.